If impatience were a virtue I'd have that one nailed down. It has never been in my nature to be overly patient and I think part of it is my Type A personality (if you know anything about Type A, the first characteristic of said person is time urgency and impatience. Go figure). Patience is definitely something I want to have more of and I realize that in order to perfect that virtue I need to practice it. Not just for a day, but possibly days, weeks, months... You get the picture.
My friend Bo recently wrote a post on waiting. Waiting takes patience and we've already established that I am in-lack-of. I want to wait in eager anticipation of where God is taking me and wait in complete humility and silence as I listen for God's voice directing me. But I don't like waiting. Period. And instead of waiting patiently and listening for His voice, I usually end up having a conversation with God that goes something like this:
Anne: God, I've been waiting patiently and I think I've got it all figured out so how about you go ahead and share 'the plan' with me so I can get started on this thing.
Anne: Uh, God, I'm still here waiting and I know you hear me, which is really cool because you're not like me who can just pretend I didn't hear you(when my will doesn't want to do something you're telling me to do, but maybe we can deal with that one later), so maybe now you can share that really cool plan you have for me, with me. I mean the clock is ticking and with the way stuff is going in the world I'm feeling a little sense of urgency. I'm sure you are too. Right?
God: Anne, you've been waiting 6 minutes.
Anne: Wow, has it been that long?
It's easy to want to jump the gun and get ahead of myself instead of just revelling in what God is doing with me. I start to feel pretty good about something and then 'wham' I take a 'devils in the house' hit and I realize I'm not as well off as I thought. I know it's because I haven't waited long enough for God to 'sift' me because I'm human and that causes discomfort and I can be very insecure about whether I'm really valuable enough for God to love me the way He says He does. And, I'm just flat out impatient and usually run before I walk. I think my comment on another one of Bo's posts about how faith is like the leaves in the fall and whether one is a clinger (not wanting to let go when God wants you to) or a jumper (you are willing to let go) sums me up pretty well. "I am a jumper by nature, but sometimes I get impatient and don’t always ‘wait for my color to change’ and I’m the one green leaf laying on the ground." (Oh, it can be a lonely world out there.)
Having the patience to wait until God says go takes a lot of faith. Having faith while being an extremely Type A control freak takes a lot of work. The good news is progress is being made because I'm figuring it out. Slowly but surly I'm recognizing the places in my heart that need the most work and I think that feeling God's conviction about things is a big step in moving closer to his will for me. I know that I need to cling a little tighter to God and let go of the things that give me a false sense of urgency. I know God loves me and whatever insecurities I have are not from Him but the one who wants to destroy the relationship I have with God. I know that I put a lot of pressure on myself and feel a tremendous sense of judgement towards myself whether it's real or not. It comes with the high expectations I put on ME and not ever living up to those expectations and feeling failure for it.
I'm learning to accept my humanness and to not beat myself up when I fall but It's not an overnight change. I don't know that those around me totally understand it and at times feel like that one little leaf that jumped too soon. I also think sometimes, that is where God wants me. If I don't have the distraction of all the others around me it's easier to hear the one voice that truly matters.